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New Critique Group [Jun. 6th, 2006|04:40 pm]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]

Hey all!

I was accepted into a critique group today.

I was worried that I wouldn't fit in, as they've all been together for a while, but everyone is so sweet!!

I jumped right in, and posted a pb that I had completely given up on and as of this moment, 4:37 p.m. on my count, I am ready to sub it!!! I can't believe how helpful everyone is!

I had completely given up on this and only really posted it so that I could get my feet wet in the group! You are all fantastic!!!

I think I'm going to sub "I Don't Want to Feel Blue" tonight!!!

I love you guys!

Can I use more exclaimation marks?!?!

*hugs to you all*

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Toastmasters Speech #2 Yikes! [May. 30th, 2006|01:34 pm]
[mood |hyperhyper]

Well, at least I'm still writing! I wrote a speech this morning for my Toastmaster's Club.

My speech was the second towards becoming a Certified Toast Master (which just means that I have practiced my way through public speaking!). The speech was supposed to be about something that you care about. I spoke about the stigma of mood disorders, particularly Bipolar disorder.

I choked a bit here and there, but everyone seemed to like it. I had far too much info for the 5-7 minute slot and ended up going over and rushing through the end.

Why are us creative folk always so nervous to speak publically?


My writing is at a standstill. My YA is still floating in notes, my brain and on my digital voice recorder...but not on paper or computer. Why am I so scared?!? What is a paranoid girl to do?

Double ARGH!

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My, oh May! [May. 26th, 2006|12:41 pm]
Well hello again!

I'm not sure how many of you faithful readers have been flocking to my lj site, dying for news on the good old Tracitoo!

I have finished my first picture book and I am rather satisfied. So, I did as any other selfconscious first time writer did. I compiled some publisher contact information and started my query letter...and that's when it all went South.

I think I have a pretty good query letter, but I should admit how terrified I am. It's been at least two months since I sent in my greeting card samples. Those I didn't have nearly as much time, effort energy and soul invested. I have my baby, my little pb manuscript sitting, collecting dust, waiting for it's time to shine.

Hopefully, I'll swallow my fears and bite the proverbial bullet.

With the help of my SCBWI friends and the great support and guidance they give, I think I can get through this and move on to my YA novel. This book is just bursting out ideas all over and I think it's time to sit down and start writing.

Chat again sometime soon!

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Keep on truckin' [Apr. 18th, 2006|03:57 pm]
[mood |excitedexcited]

Well, it's been kind of a busy time for me.

I've been nervous about sending in a full ms, so I have decided to send in some greeting cards to a few publishers to see how that works. I have compiled a few over the last few weeks as a little hobby of mine to keep me writing.

I sent some out last week (the 11th I think) and hopefully they have reached their destinations by now.

We'll see how long it takes for them to respond. It was scary but I wrote a query and sent it along. I think it was great, low key, low pressure practice for the submission of my first ms.

Wish me luck!

Oh yeah, I also finished editing my first MS for a picture book. I am sending it out to a few friends at the SCBWI to get their opinions.

*bites fingernails now*

We shall see.....and until then, we shall sweat bullets!

be well all and have a blessed day!

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Toastmasters...the first speech [Apr. 4th, 2006|08:44 am]
[mood |anxiousanxious]

Yes.....I am a geek I belong to a grown-up speech club.

Today is my first speech, and I'm nervous as h#ll!!

Here is the outline for my Toastmasters #1 Ice Breaker Speech!

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the jury room in the case of Traci vs. Cool.

We will be briefly going over the evidence and then making our own verdict.

At first glance, the defendant appears to lead a normal and somewhat cool life. She is married to her High school sweetheart. They even purchased their first home a year ago…very cool. She even claims to have two sons. But I ask you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do THESE look like sons?
I present Exhibit A: Jackson and Casper…common house cats!

Secondly, she claims to enjoy reading. A normal, if not somewhat nerdy pastime…until you look a bit closer. Exhibits B and C: What is this? Children’s Books and Harry Potter paraphernalia? I have no doubt that the defendant would be able to explain the rules of quiddich and an explanation of why House Elves were discriminated against and removed from the last film. Definitely not a conversation that would end you up being interviewed by Cool People Magazine.

And we have heard that Mrs. Matson enjoys sewing. Not too uncommon a hobby. And her specialty and passion: renaissance costuming. But she doesn’t tell most people that she leads a secret life.

Exhibit D: A life shrouded in mystery and confusion. She even uses an alias…as if anyone could take the name Fiona Ravendale seriously. She claims to be a baroness in some historical fantasy game. I say she is using this clever guise to hide a deeply uncool lifestyle.

Since we are talking about aliases, the defendant has used more than thirty over her lifetime.

Exhibits E-J: Images of Traci in various plays/musicals “Aliases such as Lady Mc Beth, Mina Harker and what is this...she has sunk so low to even impersonate a nun?! Sure, theatre sounds fun and all, but it definitely detracts from the cool factor.

 I ask you ladies and gentlemen of the jury, to decide the fate of the defendant Traci Matson.
 Those who vote in favor of the defendant’s coolness will raise their hands and say aye, releasing this woman back into society.
 Those who vote against her coolness, will raise their hands and say “nay”, therefore remanding the defendant into the Easton Towne Center Corrections Facility for the Criminally Unhip for a period of no less than 12 months.
 Remember, her fate, and her reputation lie in the balance.

 Those who feel Traci is still cool despite the damning evidence, vote aye:

 Those who feel she is tragically uncool, vote nay.
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Setbacks [Mar. 23rd, 2006|09:18 am]
Last night, I showed my brother-in-law and fellow YA novelist the beginnings of my newest piece, tentnatively titled "Hear My Voice".

I was excited about his opinion and waited for his response. He's really good about fair and constructive criticism. I waited anxiously for him to finish and he nodded, handed me the pages and asked. "Are you going to make it a short story or a book?"

I was full of self consciousness. I thought for SURE he'd say SOMETHING about the content.

So, we drove home and I was crestfallen.

My husband, however always supports me, and his famous quote is, "If you wake up more than three mornings with it the first thing on your mind, you HAVE to put it to paper."

Guess who I was thinking about this morning............... Nalind, Sev and Reis.

Even if it is not Pulitzer Prize winning, I HAVE to put it on paper. I NEED to know how they will all meet, how they will interact and what will become of the two societies.

So, thank you again Randall, yet again, you have inspired me.

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Thus Far [Mar. 20th, 2006|03:42 pm]
Works thus far include:

*Little Man (short picture book)
*I don't want to feel blue (short rhyming picture book)
*Hear My Voice (fantasy YA work in progress)

I have two online articles at www.thefootnote.com, my column is called "In Decision".

I have written for my employers company newsletter, two articles to be published today.

I am really enjoying this renaissance of creative expression in my life. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a movement forward in my life and my output of creative writing.

I am very excited to start telling the world that I love books, and I love writing!

I hope to see you back soon!

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First entry [Mar. 20th, 2006|10:05 am]
Well, I have decided to start a blog for my creative writing and theatrical output.

Thus far, I have completed two very short children's picture book manuscripts (MS). I am really nervous about the whole publishing hunt, and I am hoping that I can get the gumption up to send them out to publishers.

I have also just recently begun putting to paper a YA short story I am tentatively titling "Hear My Voice". I have 500 words at the moment, and I am terrified!!!

It is a fantasy story about friendship and overcoming obstacles together. (was that vague enough for you?) Well, I have 500 words at the moment and the story wants to scream out of me. Now I just have to set the fear aside and get going.

My friends at SCBWI are very encouraging and willing to help. I am really glad that I joined.

Please come back for updates!

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